14 April 1999
‘New rules threaten live exports’
By FWi staff
LIVESTOCK exports could be rendered uncompetitive by new regulations affecting the live export trade, transport company Farmers Ferry has warned.
The company, formed by farmers last year to boost the live trade, claims that new rules announced by the government will cost livestock exporters an extra £189,000.
The calculations are based on the 700,000 sheep and lambs transported from Dover to France since the ferry started operating in August last year.
More stringent veterinary inspections will double the cost of £80 per lorry-load to almost £210, according to a Farmers Ferry statement released this afternoon.
The new procedures could be “interpreted as loading addition costs on the live export industry, making it uncompetitive in European markets,” the statement said.
David Owen, Farmers Ferry secretary, said he broadly welcomed the governments focus on the welfare of livestock.
But he added: “It is ironic that in securing opportunities to boost the UKs export trade, and better the balance of payments, further restrictions are imposed.”
The new rules, which will come into effect at the end of next month, were unveiled by the government last week.
Animal Welfare Minister Elliot Morley is opposed to the live export trade, but European free trade rules prevent him from banning it through legislation.